Nuclear plant agenda may be delayed

Key Issues: 

The Nation 23 December 2010

The Energy Ministry may be unable to submit its plan for nuclearplant development to the Cabinet in January as planned, which would delay the government's plan to start construction in 2020.

Energy Minister Wannarat Charnnukul cited several obstacles, including legal amendments to enhance safety measures.

Meanwhile, he said the fuel tariff for the JanuaryApril period could be cut, thanks to low fuel prices and appreciation of the baht in the past six months. However, any tariff cut would be up to the Energy Regulatory Commission.

Without a cut, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand will recoup Bt2 billion incurred from past subsidies.

The Energy Business Department reported yesterday that in November, all types of fuel saw higher consumption due to the floods and the start of sugarcane transport to sugar mills.

During last month, Thailand consumed 21.3 million litres of petrol and 53.2 million litres of diesel per day. A total of 482,000 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) was sold, up 2 per cent from October. A total of 5,700 tonnes of NGV (natural gas for vehicles) was also consumed per day, up 6 per cent.

Of total LPG consumption, household use accounted for 209,000 tonnes, up 4 per cent. Consumption in the industrial sector rose 4 per cent month on month to 68,000 tonnes, while in the transport sector it rose 8 per cent to 60,000 tonnes. The petrochemical sector's consumption dropped 3 per cent to 145,000 tonnes.

In the month, Thailand imported 4.81 billion litres of crude and refined oil products, worth Bt77 billion. By volume, the imports rose 22 per cent from October but the value rose 29 per cent month on month. LPG constituted a large part of the import.